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Interview with Petar Zaharinov

Home > Designer Interviews > Petar Zaharinov

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Petar Zaharinov (PZ) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Petar Zaharinov by clicking here.

Interview with Petar Zaharinov at Monday 16th of May 2011
Petar Zaharinov
FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
PZ: I am actually an architect, not a professional designer. Three years ago I was not interested in product design at all. What made me interested was the invention of some interlocking structures that I wanted to utilize. I found in furniture design an appropriate field to do that.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PZ: I founded it with my business partner about an year ago particularly for the production of 1x3 and the other pieces I designed together with it. I am responsible for the product design and I am preparing our new collection at the moment which is also inspired by interlocking puzzles. We also try to apply these principles in other projects, exhibition stands, art installations etc.

FS: What is "design" for you?
PZ: It must be a tool for making people live in more stimulative end healthy environment, not a tool for becoming famous and rich.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PZ: Things that have some "trick" in them. Things that have "layers" and the more you look at them the more things you discover.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
PZ: It was a building, not a product. 1x3, together with the other interlocking tables I designed, were the first products I designed and the idea about the company came after that.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PZ: My favorite materials are very traditional ones: wood, stone, ceramics. I avoid metal!

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PZ: When I do not try to design a particular object but to invent a principle, the object appears after that.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
PZ: Innovation, geometry, materials, structure....

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
PZ: Dedication. It is difficult for me to think about other things, all my thinking in concentrated on finding the solution, it is usually theoretically only one.

FS: What makes a design successful?
PZ: I am not an expert in this topic. For me the most important thing is to be honest with myself and design things that I really believe in, at least at the moment and to think about success after that.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PZ: I try to find more objective aspects. If it is healthy or not. If it develops some intelligence in its user or not. Is there some fundamental and important innovation that it brings or not. I respect designs that change our lives in a positive way, not products that are funny and interesting now but you will not remember them in several years. There are always "layers" in the long lasting concepts. And also some intuition. I think that intuition is something not subjective and it can really show me the right choice.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PZ: To design products that are useful and designs that develop some skills in their users.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
PZ: I participated in Salone Satellite in Milan this year - 2011. I exhibited an assemblable book shelf on the stand of Young Balkan Designers. It was a regional competition and the winning designs, chosen by Konstantin Grcic, were exhibited there. The next exhibitions will be part of Mikser Festival in Belgrade, and Sofia Design Week 2011.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
PZ: I always try to find inspiration in fields different from architecture and design. I am interested in science, geometry etc. I also stop reading magazines and blogs while working on something. I want to see what I can do by myself, not to imitate someone else's works.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
PZ: Constructivism. I am not so interested in style. It sometimes becomes a synonym of fashion which I try to avoid. For me the real style is a consequence not a goal. I must have a concept first and then look for the appropriate style

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
PZ: I live in Sofia, Bulgaria and I think the heritage, at least from the last twenty years, strongly affect my work in many ways. After the Cold War the country changed a lot, not in a very positive way in most of the cases. The industry was completely destroyed and then privatized by people that did not really know how to develop it; as a result, the furniture manufacturers became very small and old fashioned in general. We lost a lot of knowhow and hi-tech now is like a chimera. This, together with some philosophical reasons made me design objects that are low-tech.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
PZ: I first invent a principle and then look for an appropriate application.

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
PZ: They are different. I prefer the days when I am trekking high in the mountains, I find a lot of inspiration there.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
PZ: To be honest with themselves, not to design just to become famous and rich. Then, when they become famous and rich, they will be more happy and satisfied.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
PZ: a 3D CAD software, scroll saw, jigsaw...

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
PZ: I have periods that I concentrate on designing and then periods for developing already designed products.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
PZ: I want to use the principles I use in furniture design in architecture. I want to design a house without any metal parts and fixtures.

FS: How can people contact you?
PZ: The best way is an e-mail.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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